Somehow... I pulled it off this week! I have no idea how that happened but despite losing my voice, developing a sniffle and not getting enough sleep I managed to deliver two diverse sets with minimal wobbles. Let's start with the first:
Culm Valley Music & Performance Club - I love you. What an understanding bunch you are and so kind! I'd had to alter my set a bit as I couldn't get those high notes mid week and still I had people complimenting my voice afterwards. I was like, "really??" squeak squeak. A lovely lovely bunch that put up with me bringing three instruments to a support slot set... sorry! When will I learn?
Gig 2 was the album launch of Time but before that I managed to cram in another band practice pre-launch on Thursday which was also my birthday so *sucks in air* I feel the need to share the random of that day first. Day after Culm Valley and I was shattered so I lurched into work *cue the screaming kids* and groaned my way through the morning til we were lead down the hill to strawberry lane to collect frog spawn with the class - how cute is that? The sun was shining, the kids weren't screaming any more, it was bliss. Fast forward and after school I picked up my Ben and he took me shopping. I love shopping and finding unusual things and we shuffled through the charity shops and found Simon & Garfunkel The Sound of Silence for £1 - a friggin steal! Then we remembered I had a parcel to pick up from the post office, opened it to find a handmade sewing kit from Rad *made me cry.* Then it was dinner at the chinese and a candle in my fritter :D As 'happy birthday' blared out over the tannoy and the waitress sang to me I felt guilty (like I'd wrecked the serenity of the restaurant for the couple behind and to the right of me) but also I was loving it. I'm such a child, having a restaurant make a fuss of me on my birthday was one of my big wishes in life haha sad right? Then it was band practice in the evening where we established some of those songs had to go as I couldn't hit them and Trudes had a brain wave and offered up her keyboard. " It's missing the sustain pedal" "that's alright I'd only milk it to death" as Max knows all too well....
So Friday buzzed through and we got to the venue all dressed in black - no idea how we managed that as a team without communicating dress code - and it was a success! I have some things to thank for this, namely southern comfort. Now I'm not encouraging performers to drink by any means but I have to admit that without it that set would've been inaudible. Whiskey just has a knack for numbing wounds and is like the WD40 of vocal chords for me so yes I had a tiny little taster-size bottle polished off before the 1st set arrived and a baileys to follow for the second... apologies.
Hopefully I didn't glaze over too much! I should also thank the team of musicians who helped me put it together and supported me throughout. Trudi you little firecracker you, Ian you bodhran beast, Barbara you fluttered on the flute and Mike, where do I even begin? It was a pleasure to play with you again and I honestly didn't want 'Eighteen Years' to end, which when you think about it is kinda ironic haha Ben took some lovely videos of our rehearsals which we will now make live so you can sneak a peak at what went on in preparation and it proves that I did have a voice once!
Thank you to everyone who came, thank you to the trio of The Retro Rhythm Rascals - if you liked what you heard please check 'em out on facebook by typing that in the search bar - thank you to Niks for the sound, Shannon for the lights, Alan for pictures and anyone who bought a CD.
We did it!
This is probably a generational thing but as I type this I find myself channeling the Buffy the vampire slayer musical episode singing, 'going through the motions' to myself.... Strangely this is pretty much the tone this blog will take.
January was a juggle of incomes and expectations that ended rather badly and so far February has felt very much the same - hence why I haven't blogged - but I've got two gigs coming up in the next week so I thought it best to break the silence and get back on the horse. It hasn't helped that I lost my voice for a week and a half and it has literally only just returned in the last 2 days (thank goodness). When you're constantly reminded that your voice is everything it sure hurts when it suddenly isn't there but it was a stern reminder that I'm a lot more than just a singer; but hey it's back so crisis over!
So I'm excited because this means that I can *hopefully* deliver a good, sparkly set at Culm Valley this Wednesday as I've been looking forward to it for a while. I also have the album launch of Time on Friday at Tapeley Park which should be interesting and a nice bunch of musicians to back me up. I'm very grateful for their support (and never-ending supply of cider) and I'm hoping we can pull it off and have a good time.
That's pretty much it for now, recovery continues, my voice is returning and banjo-surgery ensues,
wish me luck!
This will be a classic blog entry in the sense that it will include some classic examples of me trying to be good and failing miserably ;) Are you ready? Let us begin...
So I've been holding off on updating you as I've been waiting for some dates and confirmations to come in but I can confirm that rehearsals for the launch of Time begin this friday and thus the inevitable instrument teasing of my illustrious backing band will begin - 'cause I've got to do something to keep y'all guessing right? Also I will be returning to Scotland this year (super psyched to be returning to Edinburgh) and I'll be taking part in Springfest 2016 on the Loch Lomond Shores which I'm sure will inspire another 'by the clan' moment. I'll also finally get to see Glasgow so I am really excited, so much so I bought a flask for the road trip - that's preparation Ro-style....
Speaking of the flask, we baptised it in hot chocolate this weekend as it had its first outing... Destination: Dartmoor or more accurately...Destination: SNOW! Now this'll sound like madness to anyone North (or even East) of Devon but snow for us is a novelty and when it comes you absolutely have to drop what you're doing and make a snowman. These are the rules. So Ben kindly drove us over to Postbridge on Saturday and we watched the sunrise paint the Tors pink and show us where the best patches of snow were.
Several boggy steps later (and after feeding a lot of ponies) we found the perfect spot and endeavoured to roll our snowman into shape. Yes I actually bought a carrot especially for his nose and yes I accidentally left it in the car so I'm pretty much the worst girlfriend in the world as Ben went back to get it and it was a long way up the hill... I should say he volunteered and this gave me the necessary time to create a snow-top-hat but no matter how I word it I'm still the worst girlfriend in the world....
It was a good end to a shocking week really and I should mention my alarm and disbelief of finding out Bowie had died then discovering with equal shock and horror on Thursday that Alan Rickman had also died. Both huge talents, it goes without saying, and I have brilliant memories of our tribe from school imitating both - particularly when Sweeney Todd came out. It's nice to see the internet celebrating their lives though and shedding light of stuff they did that had been somewhat forgotten though - Rickman was sooo much more than just Hans Gruber and Snape - and equally Bowie was a lot more than just Aladdin Sane; particularly for my generation, he was the snowman kid and the goblin king! Movie boffing aside, loved them both, gutted they are gone but so glad they lived.
So... onto my classic balls up then. I should probably patent that, ball-s-up (get it?) I do it so often anyway... I thought I'd take a trek down to Bude yesterday to see rad (the peanuts movie) and check out the folk club. Now I lived in Bude for 20 years and had no idea this nifty club existed until about 5-6 years ago which was sadly around about the time I left so it was great to finally make the connection face to face but also pretty embarrassing when I was told it had been around for at least 12 years.I was hoping to make a good impression and the first song went well despite my karaoke nerves but then I was kinda mind-blown with the arrival of an old mate and the immediate compulsion to catch up in the other room. Didn't really clock the fact that everyone could still hear me and my laugh that makes dogs wince on account of the rooms only partially separated by a wooden panel and the door being left open. Dammit. So I'm thinking first impressions are wrecked maybe I can claw it back with some songs? Nope. Not even a little. My brain decided to mince my words and nerves kind of took hold for the first time in a LONG time. The song after that was fine but unfortunately my friend saw the weakest which left me feeling embarrassed as there I was showing her my new album and filling her in on what I'd been up to and there I was dying on stage haha oh well I did get to have a go on a harp ( love love love ) and people were very kind and understanding so hopefully I can return there maybe next month once my humiliation has died down a bit and make a better go of it!
Honestly what am I like.... so there you have it hopefully this week will have less casualties